A negatively charged residue in the outer mouth of rat sodium channel determines the gating kinetics of the channel

Zhao Zhang, Yanfang Xu, Pei Hong Dong, Dipika Sharma, Nipavan Chiamvimonvat

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Previous studies using combined techniques of site-directed mutagenesis and electrophysiology of voltage-gated Na+ channels have demonstrated that there are significant overlaps in the regions that are important for the two fundamental properties of the channels, namely gating and permeation. We have previously shown that a pore-lining residue, W402 in S5-S6 region (P loop) in domain I of the μ1 skeletal muscle Na+ channel, was important in the gating of the channel. Here, we determined the role of an adjacent pore-lining negatively charged residue (E403) in channel gating. Charge neutralization or substitution with positively charged side chain at this position resulted in a marked delay in the rate of recovery from slow inactivation. Indeed, the fast inactivation process appeared intact. Restoration of the negatively charged side chain with a sulfhydryl modifier, MTS-ethylsulfonate, resulted in a reactivation profile from a slow-inactivated state, which was indistinguishable from that of the wild-type channels. We propose an additional functional role for the negatively charged residue. Assuming no major changes in the pore structure induced by the mutations, the negatively charged residue E403 may work in concert with other pore regions during recovery from slow inactivation of the channel. Our data represent the first report indicating the role of negative charge in the slow inactivation of the voltage-gated Na+ channel.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Cell Physiology
Issue number5 53-5
StatePublished - May 1 2003


  • Site-directed mutagenesis
  • Slow inactivation
  • Sodium channel

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology
  • Physiology


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